If you’ve spent much time in Excel, you’ll know the pain that comes with creating a large spreadsheet, only to realize it needs adjusting. Thankfully, though, this doesn’t always need to be time-consuming.
If you’re wondering how to combine two cells in Excel, you can use the concatenate command to do so without data loss.
At least, it will do so with one caveat: the two cells you’re looking to combine must be text. The most common use is likely to combine two “First name” and “Last name” columns into a single “Full name” one.
Excel: Combine cells / merge cells with “concatenate”
If you’re wondering, then, concatenate is simply a synonym for “Combine”, or “join together”. Why didn’t Microsoft simply call it one of those? It’s anyone’s guess, but mine is to distinguish between concatenating and the existing “merge” too, which creates a single column out of two neighboring ones.
Anyway, with that tangent over, there’s how to combine cells in Excel with concatenation:
How to Combine Two Cells in Excel with Concatenate
Concatenating allows you to create a new column that references existing data on your spreadsheet to create a new combined cell. The cells it pulls from do not have to be next to each other, though this may make it easier to organize.
Here’s how you can perform concatenation in Excel:
- Type the CONCATENATE formula in your cell
In the cell where you’d like the combined result to display, type
- Click on the cells you’d like Excel to combine
After you open your bracket, click the starting cell, followed by the cell you’d like to combine it with. Close the bracket when you’re done.
- Press Enter to Concatenate the cells
You’ll see the two strings directly next to each other with no space. If you’d like to add a space, continue to the next step.
- Optional: Add a space to your concatenation
You’ll want many strings you combine to have a space between them. This can be easily achieved by adding
" "between the two cells the formula. Your final formula would look something like this:
- Press Enter to apply the concatenation
- Optional: Copy your formula to other rows in your column
If you need to apply the formula to other cells in your column, don’t waste your time copy and pasting. Instead, click the original cell, then click on the green dot in its bottom right corner and drag it down.
- Release your mouse button to fill the rest of the rows
The concatenate will automatically apply to them, moving incrementally down the columns you specified in your formula.
There you have it. You should now know how to combine cells in Excel even if they’re on completely different sides of your spreadsheet.